Opera House (1893-1912)

Second Opera House.

Fargo's second Opera House, was located on the southeast corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street. It was built in 1893 just after the fire of that year and it, too, was destroyed by fire in 1912 and never replaced. The Opera House was built by Ben Hagaman (a Chicago capitalist) and run by the Walker Brothers (job printers and book binders) who purchased it in 1900.

The image above is from the June 7, 1894 edition of the Argus; scan courtesy of the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies. This picture was taken less than a year after the Opera House was built.

Second Opera House.

In comparison to the later picture at right, it appears that an addition was built on the west of the building.

The location is now the site of the Graver Hotel which was built in 1917.

Opera House playbill.

The entertainment at the Opera House ranged from dramatic plays to vaudeville. The playbill to the right lists both minstrel and vaudeville acts.

A. O. Rupert was the Musical Director of the Opera House, which even had its own March (see the 1899 music score below). In addition to being Musical Director of the Opera House, Mr. Rupert was also Fargo's City Auditor.

Opera sheet music.

The Rupert's Orchestra is shown in the photograph below. From left to right, the musicians were John Rupert (trumpet), E. R. Wright (trumpet), H. G, Jones (trombone), Chas. Homason (drums), A. O. Rupert (Director), C. G. Baernstein (piano), Herman Leusch (clarinet), and A. V. DuVall (clarinet).

Thanks to Mrs. Rita Moore for the photograph which identifies the musicians.

A. O. Rupert.

Opera House orchestra.